Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/31/12 at 10:09 AM ET
from Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press,
Home ice doesn’t mean as much in the Stanley Cup playoffs as home court does in the NBA playoffs. It’s more important that the Wings utilize their final games to get as healthy as possible and work the wounded—Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom, Johan Franzen and Howard, who has nursed a temperamental groin for a month—back into a smooth rhythm.
Honestly, they are better off if they drop to the sixth seed. Chicago trails the Wings by only two points, and the Blackhawks have played some of the league’s best hockey the past 10 games. At the sixth slot, the Wings would get the third conference seed—the champion of the grossly underwhelming Pacific Division—as an opening opponent.
More important, they would get a little more time regaining their full health while dealing with an inferior opponent.
Even in defeat Friday, coach Mike Babcock was pleased with the improved effort following an embarrassing debacle against Columbus on Wednesday. Friday had the feel of a playoff game in that one bounce could shift momentum.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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